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Album Review

New York's Turbo A.C.'s have changed little for their fourth full-length outing, this time for Gearhead — the come-hither female cover star is here, as are the 12 shards of greaser punk that make up Automatic. Led by the searing vocals of Kevin Cole, who just might gargle gallstones regularly, the A.C.'s run through the entire album in a little over half an hour. And while it's easy to accuse them and their peers in New Bomb Turks and the Supersuckers of one-dimensionality, why would you? Grease monkey rock & roll such as this isn't created for commercial gain or mass acceptance. Besides, fans of the Turbo A.C.'s and the rest likely don't want these guys to change — if they did, someone might get their head kicked in. Musically, Automatic sticks to furious, lockstep punk anthems like "Mafioso" (a superb opener) and "Perfect Crime." Of note is "The Future." A white-hot screed against a high-and-mighty ex-girlfriend, the track is dominated by Cole's sneering anger, which, when focused on one person, is even more formidable. The song is also a nice, R-rated update of the Monkees' "Stepping Stone." "Way of the Devil" is colored with true crime soundbites and atmospheric reverb guitar; it's easy to imagine the song in black-and-white, the soundtrack to a teenage hoodlum crime spree. The band's rambling, raucous cover of the Shadows' classic "Apache" only adds to this image. While nothing on Automatic features a memorable hook beyond its numerous "woah woahs!" and "oh yeahs!," the album can nevertheless be enjoyed in the same way a beer can is smashed — quick, with one satisfying motion that's over before it begins, but is still a giddy rush.


Formed: New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The Turbo A.C.'s emerged from the streets of New York City in the early '90s. Vocalist/guitarist Kevin Cole, drummer Kevin Prunty, and bassist Michael Dolan released a number of EPs and compilation tracks on various labels before issuing their debut full-length through Blackout in 1996. Damnation Overdrive showcased the A.C.'s' adrenaline-soaked punk & roll, a sound that kicked Dick Dale into the whiskey overdrive of Motörhead, and slicked its hair back with engine grease. Constant touring honed...
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Automatic, The Turbo A.C.'s
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